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28 July 2014 | Devarim

2013

One of the most common sins among mankind is lying. It begins in the innocence of childhood. While we understand that lying is common among people, we don’t agree with it being done, especially if we are being lied to. It is part of the failings of mankind. God hates lying and has commanded us not to bear false witness (to lie) as the ninth commandment.

Without wanting to make this article an opinion on our federal government, we have all been witnesses to a profound example of lying and its consequences. …

The Scriptures say that Noah walked with God. The word picture is that of a child being held by the hand by a fatherly figure. The story of Noah building the ark by God’s instructions and riding out the flood with God’s instructions would support Noah’s hand being in the hand of God.

But after the flood, another man emerges from the Scriptures whose name is first Abram and then becomes Abraham. It is said of him that he walked before God. The word picture is considerably different from Noah. Instead of walking hand-in-hand, Abraham is pictured out front, listening to God’s instructions as he walked.

When Yeshua took the first steps of His public ministry, He chose an obscure location with a relatively small group of people. He joined John the Baptist with some of his disciples out in the wilderness at the Jordan River.

We know that John the Baptist was the forerunner of the Messiah, the voice of one crying in the wilderness and the one who would introduce Him to Israel, but why was the Jordan River location at the edge of the wilderness chosen? For instance, why didn't John begin the introduction of Yeshua in the temple? He was a priest, and the Messiah is the Great High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Would it not have made more sense to begin in the temple in Jerusalem to announce the King of Israel?

Messianic believers today believe that Yeshua of Nazareth is the Messiah, the Savior, and the Son of God. As far as the world is concerned, Messianics are just like Christians. Yet, other Christians don't see Messianics as Christians. Messianics believe in all of the Hebrew Scriptures, including the Torah, professing that all believers should keep the commandments of God, including the Law of Moses. Christians are perplexed by this. Christians have been told that the Law went away, that Jesus replaced it with something better—grace and forgiveness. As a result, there is a great difference between a Messianic believer and your standard Christian today.

One of the many reasons why I believe we are the final generation is how the Bible defines the coming travail and judgments in the last days. The prophets of Israel have said that the end-times world will be in time of distress as it has never seen before. Daniel gave this definition.

…And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time;…

Daniel 12:1b

In the book of Genesis, there is an event that brings about a mysterious meeting that has not been fully explained and rarely examined. The incident occurs after Abram successfully rescues his nephew Lot and the people of Sodom from the king of Elam who attacked Sodom and kidnapped the people. Upon Abram’s return, he meets with the king of Sodom to hand over the captives. However, another king also attends the meeting, one who had never been mentioned before.

Normally, I don't like to talk about the devil, nor do I try to explain how demonic things work. I would much rather talk about the LORD and His salvation. We should NOT focus on the enemy other than to identify the enemy correctly. The Torah gives only a small description about Satan, explaining the deception of Adam and Eve. The remainder of the Tanach (Old Testament Scriptures) follows the path of the Torah with little information offered on the specifics of the devil, although we get an interesting perspective in the book of Job. However, the New Testament Scriptures have quite a bit to say about the devil. There is the temptation of the Messiah followed by numerous references to demons being cast out of people and places.

I am perplexed! I discovered this year that there are believers (even Messianic) who believe that Yeshua did NOT keep the Passover memorial at His final meal with the disciples, which was commanded by Moses in the Torah. They are suggesting that the "Last Supper" was just a regular meal prior to Passover. Upon investigation, I have discovered that many believers are taking this position because they are totally confused about when Passover is to be kept and how to commemorate it according to the commandments.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the wilderness journey for the Children of Israel was the cloud by day and the fire by night. God provided this visible sign to lead them in their journeys from Egypt through the wilderness until they reached the land He promised to them.

The cloud is called a pillar throughout Scripture because of its vertical shape. It was able to position itself, raising and lowering itself, over the tent of meeting, separating the children of Israel from Pharaoh's chariots at the Red sea, and maneuver throughout the wilderness showing them where to camp.

When the subject of the end times comes up in many discussions, a variety of topics come to the forefront. These include the rapture, the tribulation, the antichrist (antimessiah), and the mark of the beast. Setting aside the false rapture expectations, the dominant topic of the great tribulation centers on the identity of the antimessiah and the "mark of the beast" that everyone must take to buy or sell.

The month of February 2013 is now upon us. Will the altar be set up and shut down as the prophecy requires to begin the Great Tribulation? Only time will tell, but by the end of this month we will know one way or the other if the Great Tribulation begins this year. If it occurs, we will watch for the other part of the Abomination as the antimessiah comes to power with the false prophet proclaiming him as savior of the world with his image on the temple mount. But if it doesn't happen, then we will look to a future winter in another year for the fulfillment.

For many years I have paid close attention to the subject of end-time prophecy. Not only have I done my own study but I have attempted to understand others who have offered their understanding and insight into the subject. I have concluded that most prophecy teachers—those who advocate their proper way to handle the subject—think that they are smarter on the subject than the Messiah Himself.